The Drake Wine Tasting Room will also feature Chatter Wines, an alternative wine brand focusing on esoteric varieties and wines easily consumed in their youth.
Owned and operated by the dynamic Central Coast couple, Andi and Mark Cummins, Drake Wines takes its name from a surname on Marks’ father’s side of the family, and remains the middle name of their eldest son, Charlie. The Drake Wines portfolio highlights Cummins’ non-interventionist approach to wine. “My wines are very site-driven. I know a lot of winemakers pay lip service to their sites, but they end up putting a very interventionist thumb print on their wines. With mine, I try and get out of the way as much as possible. Particularly with my Bien Nacido Vineyards wines…the Block H, N and Q Pinot Noirs for example. Those Pinots are transparent and very representative of those three distinctive blocks. Though the blocks are grown on the same contiguous vineyard site, they highlight the intricate terroir expressions at Bien Nacido.”
The tasting room aesthetic is a nod to Andi Cummins’ talent for interior design. “I would describe it as ‘the Hollywood Regency meets California beach living’,” says Andi Cummins. Accordingly, the tasting room highlights quirky, interesting and contemporary approaches to wine tasting and graphic design. Guests can order a wooden tray holding old-fashioned laboratory flasks full of wine and enjoy their tasting on their own, in the Drake VIP room or on their breezy, airy tasting patio. Others may choose to remain at the expansive bar where Andi or Mark will guide them through designated flights of Drake and Chatter wines. Died-in-the-wool wine lovers, who enjoy a glass with a meal every day, will be able to purchase and refill inexpensive growlers of Cummins’ Pinot Noir. The growler initiative, called “Pinot to the People”, is, as Cummins says, “an opportunity for me to make wines for our local community similar to those wines served in carafes in bistros all over Paris. They’ll be delicious, approachable Pinots at an affordable price.”
Mark Cummins has been a winemaker on the Central Coast for nearly two decades. After impressive stints at Byron and Wild Horse, Cummins launched his own brand in 2005. “Our tasting room is a culmination of all of my efforts in the vineyards with which I work, and all of Andi’s efforts with our customer fan base. We’d really like to think of our tasting room as an extension of our home. It’s a place we hope that like-minded people will gravitate towards, for a leisurely visit and an opportunity to taste through a few terroir-driven wines. It’s hopefully a place where you’ll be greeted in a friendly manner, but where the wines are serious and inspire conversation and rumination.”
The Cummins are hosting an Open House on July 11th between the hours of 2:00 P.M. and 7:00 PM. Complimentary wine tasting and food tastings will be offered throughout the day, and the Cummins’, along with their sons, Charlie and Gus, will be on hand to welcome newcomers. Live music will also be featured, with Mark Cummins sitting in occasionally on guitar. The Drake Tasting room is located at 34 B Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara, California. Phone: 805.845.4801. To learn more about Drake Wines, please visit www.drakewines.com. For Chatter Wines, please visit www.chatterwines.com.
Normal operating hours are Monday through Thursdays from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM and Fridays and Saturdays from 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM.